Chelsea beat Barnsley 1-0 yesterday in a very hard-fought and closely competed game. It was a poor first half from The Blues with Barnsley coming out all guns blazing. It, however, was another reminder in recent weeks that Chelsea youngsters deserve more respect.
The players looked a bit shell-shocked by the way Barnsley took the game to them, limiting them to little or no chances and with Barnsley having the better of the chances. In the second half, after a formation change, Billy Gilmour slipped in Reece James who finds Tammy Abraham for a tap-in. This was clearly a goal made in Cobham.
The youngsters have played a key part in our recent successes. Tammy Abraham won Chelsea a massive 16 points last season and scored some big champions league goals and also goals that settled nerves and put us into crucial leads like Palace at home and Southampton away. He has also become very effective this season with 12 goals and 6 assists and 16 starts this season. Yesterday is another example of him coming in ‘clutch’ when we needed him. This season, the likes of Mason Mount, Callum Hudson Odoi and Reece James have been also very impressive.
Mount ranks in the top 5 of chances created this season and is also Chelsea’s highest-scoring midfielder from open play too. He is a very consistent player who gives his all for the team with a wide range of abilities. The Chelsea youngster has contributed to some crucial goals. Recently, he’s popped up with the winner against Fulham. Earlier this season, his stunner kick-started the comeback against West Brom, and his assist to Zouma for the header to put us in front against Leeds.
When discussing talented Chelsea youngsters, we have to talk about Callum Hudson Odoi. When given the chance he has been exceptional in recent weeks. He is showing signs of being back to his best under the new regime. His direct dribbling, pace, and playmaking abilities are great and he is reaching the level of a complete winger. All he needs to do is try and get some more goals and he will shoot up to the next level. That will come with time too.
We also have to talk about Reece James, another consistent player who has been excellent this season. His crossing of the ball has moved up to another level and he is also much better defensively. He rarely gets beaten in one-on-one duels and is very physical. He didn’t start the first two games under Thomas Tuchel but he’s been excellent ever since coming into the side and I hope he can build from this.
Some other notable Chelsea youngsters like Billy Gilmour and Faustino ‘Tino’ Anjorin have looked bright when given chances too. Gilmour has had some notable performances like against Krasnodar in the group stage of The Champions League. He also impressed in the 4th Round of the FA Cup against Luton. He’s a very intelligent player who has a lot of potential. Tino Anjorin hasn’t featured as much as Gilmour has but when he has, he’s been great too. His athleticism, power and ball control can be a key asset to Chelsea in the future.
I feel our academy products are being taken for granted as they have bailed us out of some sticky situations countless times in the last 1 and a half seasons. It’s time to stop calling them the ‘youth’ in a derogatory manner. Despite their tender age, the Chelsea youngsters are stars in their own right and we should be giving them all the backing that is possible.
Written by Toni (@CFCtoni_)
Edited by Rob Pratley
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